Don't Lockdown During Lockdown
It's been an eventful couple weeks for most of us. Though we could easily write about some Yogic concept or another and try to make it relevant for this particular moment –Karma somehow comes to mind– we don't really feel like glossing over the importance of what's happening in the world right this minute.
With a majority of the population on (mis)information overload and a great part of us already on lockdown, perhaps this is not a bad time to take stock of our global situation, be self-critical, and analyze our own responsibility on the matter. We must all use this juncture to undertake some much needed soul-searching and examine our (global) conscience.
The truth is that this pandemic has not come out of a vacuum. None of the main threats to our survival or to the sustainability of life on this planet have. Pandemics like the current one or climate change for that matter are man-made threats that will keep on dawning on us as long as nothing gives.
Global and local authorities now rush to speak of political, economic, and sanitary measures, to give recommendations to reduce the speed of contagion and to appeal to our 'common sense.' But where was 'common sense' before this? Where was common sense while the world frantically pursued the neoliberal road to madness?
Lockdown seems to be the best means to contain the spread and so we all comply. But lockdown will last just for a period. And then what? What happens after this? Will we resume 'business as usual' and go on as if nothing had happened? Many out there seem to be eager for things to go back to 'normal.' But is this version of 'normal' what we really want to settle for again? The answer to this last question should be a real point of concern. We should all be thinking much deeper. We should all be thinking about what our global choices are going to be. What systems are we going to support? What models of consumption, welfare, and growth? The same careless and cannibalistic shit we have going on? Is that really 'common sense'? Is that really 'normal'?
It truly ain't that hard to choose wisely, not with the amount of evidence and information already at our disposal. Things like what and how we buy, what and how we eat, what and how we drive or what and how we relate to (and treat) one another every single day do really make all the difference. These things do have the power to change our reality today. There are plenty of alternatives for many of our most damaging practices and habits, provided we are willing to make compromises, sacrifice some of our privileges, and accept the need for radical change.
Mindless growth has led us to this moment, to the dystopian reality so many speculative and science fiction writers have been warning us about for decades. Now heartfelt change is our only chance to prevent something much worse from happening. We need a paradigm shift and for that we need one another. We must stop taking this planet and its resources for granted. So let's not fully lock ourselves down during lockdown and really use both head and heart to consider these matters. Life as we know it depends on it.